Peace protesters got their comeuppance when they demonstrated against war in Iraq outside the Assembly Hall in Stoke Abbott Road on Thursday night.

About a dozen protesters banged drums and blew whistles as people arrived to attend a concert by the Band of the Royal Marines.

But they made such a racket that people living in Stoke Abbott Court told them to shut up and push off, which is exactly what they did.

Our TV screens have been bombarded by images of American troops over the past few weeks but it may come as a surprise for Worthing readers to learn the town was once subject to its own GI invasion.

Not during the Second World War but in 1918, when the Doughboys, en route to France, even staged a game of baseball in Homefield Park.

Hundreds of people packed into the park to watch the match, described as an exhilarating spectacle, and the Yanks were heartily cheered even if most of those on the sidelines didn't know the rules.

The detachment's commanding officer, a Captain Neumiller, told the throng: "I know it took us a long time to come in, but we are here."

One wonders what happened to the gallant captain?

On July 4, flags and bunting decorated Worthing streets to celebrate America's national day.

Church bells rang and a military band played outside the town hall.

About 120 US soldiers marched up and down South Street, watched by thousands of people.

The tallest soldier carried the stars and stripes and there were cheers for President Wilson.

Very few Americans were billeted in Worthing during the Second World War but the town was overrun by Canadian troops on several occasions.

The local population had a love-hate relationship with the Canadians, many of French extraction, who had a reputation for hard-drinking and causing trouble.

There were a number of shootings involving Canadian soldiers and one person was seriously wounded following an altercation at the Mulberry pub in Goring.

Residents also complained of shop windows being smashed, and (Heaven forbid) the Canadians' wolfwhistling at, and chatting up, local women.

But, as ever, it was a tiny minority who gave the majority bad name and many local girls went on to marry Canadian servicemen before emigrating.

Conspiracy theorists say the disastrous raid on Dieppe, when hundreds of Canadian commandos were slaughtered in the French port, was sanctioned by senior British military figures to "teach the unruly Canadians a lesson".

Walking around town recently, Sentinel spotted on different days Derek Jameson and his wife walking along Montague Street and Rowlands Road.

Perhaps Splash FM, the radio station dedicated to Worthing that is due to come on air next month, might offer them a slot on their schedule as Derek is one of Worthing's greatest fans.

Other recent "star" sightings in the town have included Wendy Richards, of EastEnders fame, and Paul Ross, brother of TV chat show host Jonathan.

Sompting Village Morris Men celebrates its 25th anniversary in July, when dozens of dancers, from groups all over England and abroad, will assemble on Worthing seafront for a shindig.

Sentinel remembers the last time this happened, in 1999, when promenaders watched in amazement as coaches drew up outside the Lido and disgorged their passengers, all dressed in fancy costumes.

The dancers hailed from all over western Europe and included a couple of Alpine horn blowers, whose deep blasts resonated across the beach.

Sentinel and his family went for a wander around Clapham Woods at the weekend and the carpet of spring flowers was a joy to behold.

Despite the distant hum of traffic on the A27 and Long Furlong Road, it was a peaceful spot, with a chorus of birdsong very much in evidence.

Clapham boasts a wonderfully secluded church, unspoilt by the advance of development, and the interior has many interesting nooks and crannies.

The woods have long been a source of mystery, with reports over the years of paranormal activity and unidentified flying objects, and one of the first stories Sentinel ever covered related to a young girl who narrowly missed serious injury when a bolt from the blue blasted a tree to smithereens.

Sentinel is a sceptic by nature but must admit to being slightly bemused when his daughter, almost three, turned round and said: "Daddy, I can hear the trees talking."

So maybe there is something in it after all!